Dermot Flynn

Posts in Cat: / Books

The Wren Boys


Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has an annual tradition of publishing a specially written Christmas poem, and I was fortunate enough to work with her on this year’s book. ‘The Wren Boys’ is based upon the old Irish country tradition on St. Stephen’s Day of ‘hunting the wren’ – where local boys would dress up as mummers, catch the bird and parade it around town.


When researching the history and folklore for the book, I found out that the wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) has a treacherous reputation. Not only is the wren said to have fought on the side of Viking invaders against Irish soldiers, legend has it that the dastardly bird caused the death of the first Christian martyr, Saint Stephen, when it noisily betrayed his presence to his enemies.

In one of Aesop’s fables, when the wren and the eagle challenged each other to see who could fly the highest, the wren rested on the eagle’s back, and when the eagle tired, the wren flew out above him, proving that cleverness is better than strength. Finally, according to Suetonius, an unfortunate wren tried to warn Julius Caesar of his impending assassination by flying to the Senate with a laurel branch; but was torn to pieces by a flock of other birds. Heavy stuff!
The Wren Boys is now available to buy online and in your local bookshop.

Jameson Bottle Features in ‘Outside the Box!’


Exciting! My Jameson St. Patrick’s Day 2014 bottle design has been chosen for Gail Anderson’s fantastic new book ‘Outside the Box: Hand-Drawn Packaging from around the World’- published by the Princeton Architectural Press. It’s released on October 6th and you can pre-order it on Amazon….

A cow called Sue…..

13The story of the emotional turmoil experienced by a gauche herd of rural cows when they are joined by a sophisticated, high maintenance ‘city cow’, ‘City Sue’ is a storybook collaboration between Kerrygold Butter, children’s author Jeanne Willis and me! You can also view an animated version of the storybook online at, narrated by the one and only Chris O’Dowd……..

As seen in your local bookshop…..!

Did a fair bit of travelling this summer around Europe, and was delighted to see some of my cover designs on bookshelves in Croatia, Germany and Spain….